Parents magazine worked with charities across the country to create projects that help kids and animals in need, all while teaching your own children the spirit of giving.
The charity: Enchanted Makeovers works with women and children living in homeless shelters.
The project: Transform colorful socks into a friendly creature for Enchanted Makeovers’ Doll Adoption program. Start by stuffing a new sock with quilt batting; close with glue or a rubber band. Then have your child cut out felt facial features, limbs, wings, and more. She can arrange the features and adhere them with tacky glue (like Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue, $2). Afterwards, a parent can further secure the felt features with hot glue or simple hand-stitching.
How to donate: Send to: Enchanted Makeovers “Doll Adoption Project,” 12663 Hipp Street, Taylor, MI 48180
The charity: Nonprofit Camp Dreamcatcher provides summer camp and more for HIV/AIDS-infected and/or -affected youth.
The project: Brighten a camper’s stay with a homemade pillowcase. Cut shapes from ¼” craft foam, cover with acrylic fabric paint (Jacquard Neopaque, $5), and stamp onto a prewashed cotton pillowcase. Let dry and set. Launder and dry again. Bonus: If your kid can write, have her add a welcoming message with a fabric marker.
How to donate: Send to: Camp Dreamcatcher, 148 West State Street, Suite 104, Kennett Square, PA 19348
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The charity: The Anti-Cruelty Society strives to find permanent homes for lost and unwanted animals.
The project: Give a rescue dog eye-catching style with a homemade bandanna to help it attract a new owner. Cut a 22-inch square of jersey fabric in half to create a triangle. Then have your child draw a design with fine-tip permanent marker. Help her use a large embroidery needle and yarn to stitch over the drawn design; knot at the ends to finish.
How to donate: Mail to: The Anti-Cruelty Society, 157 West Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60654
The charity: Project Linus donates homemade blankets to children in need across the U.S.
The project: Become a “blanketeer” by making one of these dreamy throws from sweatshirt material. Simply measure, cut, and knot following template directions.
How to donate: Find your local Project Linus chapter and drop-off location.
The charity: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital treats and researches childhood cancer and other serious pediatric diseases.
The project: Crafters can braid 1-inch-wide fabric strips into soft and cheerful bracelets for kids to wear in the hospital.
How to donate: Because patients are often immune-compromised, these accessories must be made in a smoke- and pet-free environment with brand-new materials and packed individually in plastic ziptop bags. Send them to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, c/o Non-Monetary Gifts, 595 North Parkway, Memphis, TN 38105. Please don’t attach personal information.